Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/22/2013 06:33:54 PM PST
Updated: 01/22/2013 07:48:14 PM PST

ONTARIO – A major donor to the Democratic Party is supporting the city’s Republican mayor in his campaign to fill a vacancy in the state Senate.

Ontario Mayor Paul Leon is one of six candidates competing in what he calls a “sprint” to succeed Gloria Negrete-McLeod in Senate District 32.

The primary contest is scheduled to take place March 12.

The candidate list became official last Friday, and Leon held a campaign event Tuesday outside the offices of Landmark Medical Management in Ontario.

What made the event a little more interesting than the average political gathering is the fact that Landmark’s president is Kareem Ahmed, a major donor to Democratic groups and candidates.

The small irony did not go unnoticed during a moment of levity inside Ahmed’s office, where the executive has pictures of himself with President Barack Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and former President Bill Clinton.

“The only Republican that I am big-time supporting is Paul,” Ahmed said to a small group gathered inside his office.

“Kareem’s a little close to the president,” Leon said before a short pause.

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